Print Friendly, PDF & Email

INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 27 March 2021

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically. 

 

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Lachit Borphukan.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. How the electoral bonds scheme has worked so far, and why it has been    challenged in SC.

2. The Bihar police Bill.

3. Development of Iconic Tourist Destinations Scheme.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is NISAR, the joint Earth-Observing mission of NASA and ISRO?

2. Why Centre wants cryptocurrency holdings mandatorily disclosed in RoC filings?

3. What was the Tiger Relocation Project?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. What is Shigmo?

 


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Lachit Borphukan:


Context:

In the run-up to the polls in Assam, the name of Ahom general Lachit Borphukan, credited with defeating the Mughals in the Battle of Saraighat (1671), has been frequently invoked.

Who was Lachit Borphukan?

  • He was a commander in the Ahom kingdom.
  • Known for his leadership in the 1671 Battle of Saraighat that thwarted a drawn-out attempt by Mughal forces under the command of Ramsingh I to take over Ahom kingdom.
  • The battle of Saraighat was fought on the banks of the Brahmaputra in Guwahati.
  • The National Defence Academy (NDA), ever since 1999 has been conferring the best passing out cadet with the Lachit Borphukan gold medal.

Background:

During the last phase of the Battle of Saraighat, when the Mughals attacked the Assamese forces through the river in Saraighat, many Assamese soldiers began losing their will to fight. It was Lachit’s clarion call to all the soldiers that made them fight till their last breath, ultimately resulting in the defeat of the Mughals.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Lachit Borphukam is famously remembered for?
  2. Battle of Saraighat was fought between?
  3. Which Indian Organization awards Lachit Borphukan gold medal.

Mains Link:

Discuss the causes and outcomes of the Battle of Saraighat.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

How the electoral bonds scheme has worked so far, and why it has been challenged in SC?


Context:

The Supreme Court has dismissed petitions seeking to stay the sale of fresh electoral bonds ahead of Assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry.

  • Although the court said there is no justification to stay the current sale, the larger constitutional challenge to the electoral bonds scheme filed in 2017 is still pending.

What is the pending challenge?

Apart from challenging the constitutionality of the electoral bonds scheme, the petitioners had asked the court to declare all political parties as public offices to bring them under the ambit of the Right to Information Act and compel political parties to disclose their income and expenditure.

What are electoral bonds?

  • Announced in the 2017 Union Budget, electoral bonds are interest-free bearer instruments used to donate money anonymously to political parties.
  • A bearer instrument does not carry any information about the buyer or payee.
  • The holder of the instrument (which is the political party) is presumed to be its owner.
  • The bonds are sold in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, and Rs 1 crore, and State Bank of India is the only bank authorised to sell them.
  • Donors can buy and subsequently donate bonds to a political party, which can encash the bonds through its verified account within 15 days.
  • There is no limit on the number of bonds an individual or company can purchase.
  • If a party hasn’t enchased any bonds within 15 days, SBI deposits these into the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

Why have they been challenged?

  • The printing of these bonds & SBI commission for facilitating the sale and purchase of the bonds is paid from the taxpayers’ money by the central government.
  • Anonymity provided to donors of electoral bonds.
  • Through an amendment to the Finance Act 2017, the Centre has exempted parties from disclosing donations received through electoral bonds.

According to transparency activists, these infringe the citizen’s ‘Right to Know’ and make the political class even more unaccountable.

What is the EC’s stand?

The EC had objected to amendments in the Representation of the People Act that exempt political parties from disclosing donations through this route.

  • In a situation where the contribution received through electoral bonds are not reported, on perusal of the contribution report of political parties, it cannot be ascertained whether the political party has taken any donation in violation of provision under Section 29(b) of the RP Act which prohibits the political parties from taking donations from government companies and foreign sources.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are electoral bonds?
  2. Eligibility.
  3. Denomination.
  4. Features.
  5. Who can issue these bonds?

Mains Link:

Critically examine the effectiveness of electoral bonds in ensuring transparent political funding and suggest alternatives?

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Role of civil services in a democracy.

The Bihar police Bill:  


Context:

The Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021 was passed recently amid protests by the Opposition.

  • The Bill is aimed at boosting security, and will have limited scope as it is applicable only to certain specified areas.

Aim of the Bill:

It “aims to develop the Bihar Military Police into a well-trained and fully equipped armed police force with multi-domain expertise to cater to the development needs and the larger interest of the state.

Key Provisions:

  1. Renames the Bihar Military Police as the Bihar Special Armed Police, and gives the force more teeth, on the lines of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), so it can better secure the commercial and industrial assets of the state.
  2. The mandate of the force will be the “maintenance of public order, combating extremism, ensuring the better protection and security of specified establishments in such manner as may be notified and perform such other duties, as may be notified.”
  3. Empowers Special Armed Police officers to carry out searches and arrests without warrant.
  4. Courts can take congnizance of certain offences by the officers only after government sanction.

Need for:

Over the past decade, the state’s dependence on Central forces has grown, and an organised armed police force of its own will save government expenses and create more jobs for locals.

Issues and concerns associated:

  • The bill gives absolute powers to the police personnel in some cases.
  • Section 15 of the Act says a court cannot take cognisance if a special armed police officer is involved in a serious case barring some exceptions.
  • The government says the Bill is applicable only to certain areas. But it has not specified which areas, nor has it said on what basis would these locations be notified.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the Bill.
  2. Police subject under 7th schedule.

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues associated with the Bill.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Development of Iconic Tourist Destinations Scheme:


Context:

Tourism Ministry, in association with Madhya Pradesh Tourism and India Convention Promotion Bureau are organizing ‘MICE (MICE – Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) Roadshow – Meet in India’ at Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

About the Scheme:

  • It is a central sector scheme for the development of identified iconic destinations in the country following a holistic approach.
  • The objective of the scheme is to boost the tourism influx in India and serve as a model for other tourism sites.
  • The nodal agency for the scheme is the Tourism Ministry while other ministries such as civil aviation, railways, etc. are also involved.

About Khajuraho temples:

  • Khajuraho Temples are among the most beautiful medieval monuments in the country. These temples were built by the Chandella ruler between AD 900 and 1130.
  • They are world-wide known for their erotic sculptures. The first recorded mention of the Khajuraho temples is in the accounts of Abu Rihan al Biruni in AD 1022 and the Arab traveler Ibn Battuta in AD 1335.
  • The Khajuraho group of temples were built together but were dedicated to two religions, Hinduism and Jainism, suggesting a tradition of acceptance and respect for diverse religious views among Hindus and Jains in the region.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Khajuraho dance festival, temples.
  2. Chandella rulers.
  3. Al Biruni.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the scheme.

Sources: PIB.

 


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

What is NISAR, the joint Earth-Observing mission of NASA and ISRO?


Context:

NASA and ISRO are collaborating on developing a satellite called NISAR.

About NISAR:

  • The satellite will be launched in 2022 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India, into a near-polar orbit.
  • It will scan the globe every 12 days over the course of its three-year mission of imaging the Earth’s land, ice sheets and sea ice to give an “unprecedented” view of the planet.
  • It will detect movements of the planet’s surface as small as 0.4 inches over areas about half the size of a tennis court.
  • NASA will provide one of the radars for the satellite, a high-rate communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers and a payload data subsystem.
  • ISRO will provide the spacecraft bus, the second type of radar (called the S-band radar), the launch vehicle and associated launch services.
  • NISAR will be equipped with the largest reflector antenna ever launched by NASA and its primary goals include tracking subtle changes in the Earth’s surface, spotting warning signs of imminent volcanic eruptions, helping to monitor groundwater supplies and tracking the rate at which ice sheets are melting.

Synthetic aperture radar:

The name NISAR is short for NASA-ISRO-SAR. SAR here refers to the synthetic aperture radar that NASA will use to measure changes in the surface of the Earth.

  • Essentially, SAR refers to a technique for producing high-resolution images. Because of the precision, the radar can penetrate clouds and darkness, which means that it can collect data day and night in any weather.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About SAR.
  2. About NISAR.
  3. Objectives.

Mains Link:

Write a note on NISAR.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Why Centre wants cryptocurrency holdings mandatorily disclosed in RoC filings?


Context:

The corporate affairs ministry has announced companies will have to disclose any holding or dealings in cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies in their financial statements filed with the Registrar of Companies.

What does this inclusion indicate?

This is a major step towards regulating the crypto assets in India and will bring in a lot of transparency in reporting/filing of crypto investments. So far, the government was planning to ban them.

What are Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

Examples: Bitcoin, Ethereum etc.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Various cryptocurrencies.
  2. Cryptocurrencies launched by various countries.
  3. What is Blockchain technology?

Mains Link:

What are Cryptocurrencies? Why there is a need for regulation? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

What was the Tiger Relocation Project?


Context:

India’s first inter-state tiger translocation project was initiated in 2018 wherein two big cats, a male (Mahavir) from Kanha Tiger Reserve and a female (Sundari) from Bandhavgarh from Madhya Pradesh were relocated to Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha, to shore up the tiger population in the state.

Need for:

The relocation was meant to serve two purposes:

  • Reducing tiger population in areas with excess tigers to majorly reduce territorial disputes.
  • To reintroduce tigers in areas where the population has considerably reduced due to various reasons.

Why in News?

Recently, Tigress Sundari was relocated back to MP. This was mainly because of severe protests by villagers living on the fringes of the reserve.

What is the Satkosia Tiger Reserve and why was it chosen?

  • Located in Odisha.
  • Satkosia falls under reserves where “there is a potential for increasing tiger populations”.
  • Declared as a Tiger Reserve in 2007, Satkosia had a population of 12 tigers then. The numbers reduced to two in 2018.
  • The purpose of the relocation was to repopulate tigers in the reserve areas.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Differences between National Parks, wildlife sanctuaries and biosphere reserves.
  2. M-STrIPES is related to?
  3. What is GTIC?
  4. When was project tiger launched?
  5. NTCA- composition and functions.
  6. Why the fourth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation 2018 entered Guinness Record book recently?
  7. State with highest number of tigers.
  8. State with highest tiger density.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims:


What is Shigmo?

Shigmo is the celebration of a ‘rich, golden harvest of paddy’ by the tribal communities of Goa. It is a vibrant celebration full of colour, song and dance rooted in Goan culture and traditions.

  • Agricultural communities including the Kunbis, Gawdas and Velips celebrate the festival that also marks the onset of spring.
  • Folk dances like Ghodemodini (a dance of equestrian warriors), Gopha and Phugadi are among the many dances performed by the participating communities.


  • Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates
  • Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Motivational and New analysis videos